Monday, November 30, 2009

Decisions, decisions...

Today is the last day a team can offer former players arbitration. Cashman and company have some big decisions to make. Do they offer Damon and Matsui arbitration? If so and accepted they will probably pay about $15MM to them next year. Do they offer it to Pettitte? After incentives Pettitte made about $10.5 this past season and would probably stand to make about $12MM if accepted. That isn't to say they could work out contracts before the arbitration dates. Players have until December 7 to accept arbitration offers.

We could also see contract offers made to any of those players as well. The team is set to discuss budgets this week down in Tampa. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 2 year deal offered to Damon for about $10MM per season. The budget meeting is also critical because the Winter Meetings will begin next week on December 7. The general consensus from the "insiders" is that there will be a lot of deals happening during the meetings this year. Will the Yankees make a big trade at the meetings or possibly even before? We will have to wait and see.

I know this was touched on in some earlier comments, the true voice of the NY Yankees Bob Sheppard (not Sterling or Kay) has officially retired. I know all things must come to an end, but I was a little sad to learn that he has never even been to the new Stadium and missed the entire 2009 season including this World Series. Hope he at least gets over to watch a game from his booth sooner rather than later. At least Jeter will carry his voice forward.


Crash said...

Just some quick rumor updates.

Marlins are saying Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez will not be traded. My take, usually such a declaration would indicate they are available.

Red Sox appear to favor Matt Holliday over Jason Bay. This is in part because of the lone pick they would give up for signing Holliday versus the 2 they would get when someone signs Bay.

Rangers are talking to Jermaine Dye.

If the Cardinals can't resign Matt Holliday, they may have interest in Xavier Nady.

All is quiet on the Halladay front.

I think I'm changing my position on Halladay. I would rather pay Lackey a little less than a Halladay extension and keep the prospects in house.

I would still take chances with Sheets and Harden.

old professor said...

It has to be a full moon or the planets are in full alignment because I find myself agreeing with Crash. It does not make sense for the Marlins to trade Johnson since he is under their control for some time to come. Ramierez has baggage (there are questions regarding his work ethic, hustle and clubhouse presence) and would not be a good fit with the Yankees.

Signing Lackey would allow the Yankees to have a lower cost contract in had versus Halladay and getting Lackey would allow them to keep their prospects. They would have to give up draft choices, but realistically the draft has not been the Yankees strong suit over the past couple of years. I would also take a flyer on both Sheets and Harden. Though there would have to be a careful monitoring of Harden's innings (that would be Joba rules re dux).

Mid, regarding the voice of the Yankees, he is getting back his health. His weight dropped to 103 pounds during his illness and according to Mr. Sheppard, it is now 137. At 99 years old, he would be an honored guest at the stadium on the day of his own choosing.

old professor said...

Okay so I forgot to mention a few items in my last posting. Mid, I agree with your assessment about a contract to Damon. There have been rumors floating around that there has already been an offer, which could explain Boras moving away from the comments of a Jeter like contract.

Regarding Pettitte, while he is healthy and can still pitch, I would fully expect him to retire. He went out on such a high note for his career - what more does he have to prove. In addition, he really cares about spending more time with his family.

By the way, it has gotten very quiet regarding the Cuban defector Chapman - anyone hear anything about potential signing (if the asking price is around $100 million, that would draw a lot of money away from signing any big name free agent).

Crash said...

Chapman will not be getting anywhere near $100MM. Most teams are considering him a top prospect and he will be lucky to get a Stephen Strasburg type deal.

A lot of people think the Angels have the inside track on Chapman because he is good friends with fellow Cuban defector Kendry Morales. Chapman actually changed agents abruptly at the suggestion of Morales.

Halladay says get a deal done before spring training or I'm not approving it. The Blue Jays have botched this thing from the beginning. They had great deals in place last year with both Philly and Boston and JP Ricardi blew it. This new guy while more receptive to offers has so far not got the job done either.

I don't expect any of the big name Yankee players to be offered arbitration.

A lot of focus has been on the Yankee rotation with Halladay, Lackey, etc. and even in house solutions such as Aceves, Joba, Hughes, et al. The one guy that isn't getting a lot of press is Ian Kennedy. He could make the rotation out of spring training. He pitched well in the AFL. He seems to be past his injury. His career minor league #'s are off the charts. He just needs to get his head in the game at the big league level.

A decision still needs to be made on Wang, haven't heard anything about him lately. December 12th is the last day for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players.

For the record I think Sheets would be a better value than Lackey or Halladay. He would be a much lower financial risk with the potential for a higher return. I would think a 2 or 3 year incentive based contract would get it done. Innings pitched would be the base of incentive since he hasn't reached 200 innings since 2004!?!?!

old professor said...

Crash, you may remember a few posts ago, I indicated Kennedy was a real possibility for the rotation. He still needs to get his emotions under control.

The word on Wang is the Yankees will not tender him a contract allowing him to become a free agent and then offer him a contract with incentives related to his physical condition.

Crash said...

So far only 6 players have been offered arbitration. None are Yankees.

Crash said...

Don't know if anyone else saw this (or really thought about it/cared) but the Sox have asked Pedrioa if he would move to SS. This to me indicates a couple things. First the Sox don't see a viable SS on the market, either as FA or trade possibility (including H-Ram). There is a 2B they could acquire. Probably their first choice would be by trade...I'm thinking Brandon Phillips, there were some early rumors about him being available. There's also Mark Loretta and Orlando Hudson on the FA market they could sign.

Crash said...

Yankees will not be offering arbitration to any player.

old professor said...

Regarding the Red Sox asking Pedroia to move to SS. That would indicate one of two avenues: either they are not convinced Jed Lowry is the SS of the future or Lowry will be included in a package for someone. Look for them to sign Orlando Hudson.

Regarding arbitration, it is too bad they didn't offer Damon arbitration. Correct me if I am wrong, but by not doing so, they won't get draft picks should any of their free agents sign elsewhere?

Crash said...

Just a quick note, I mentioned Mark Loretta as a possible 2B replacement for the Sox if Pedroia moves to SS, I meant Mark DeRosa (who was offered Arb and is a Type B).

You're right Old Prof, the Yankees do not receive compensatory picks from the teams that sign these guys now.

An interesting move was made by the Cubs...they did not offer arbitration to Rich Harden. I think this increases his market value as more teams will be willing to look at him and take a risk because they won't have to surrender a high draft pick.

Yankees are said to be interested in Brandon Lyon. He was a closer for Arizona for a season or two and then went to Detroit. He's a Type B free agent. I would think the Yankees would be better served looking at Justin Duchscherer. He was not offered arbitration, he has better numbers, offers more flexibility as he was a closer than made the transition to a very effective starter...but then got hurt.

Saw this on MLBTR and laughed: Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that if any free agents are curious about playing for the Yankees, Derek Jeter says they're welcome to call and ask him any questions they might have. Jeter could save himself some time by simply mailing every prospective free agent a picture of his hand wearing five World Series rings.

Middle Relief said...

Been out of the loop for a while - so some of this may be old news - You mentioned that Yanks will not be picking up option on Wang making him a free agent - has that happened yet?

Saw something on where Girardi was talking about filling in the rotation behind CC and AJ - so that may mean a decision has been made on where and what role Hughes and Joba are targeted for next year. . .

. . should have never traded Karstens!!

old professor said...

Mid, you really have been out of the loop. Girardi's comment when asked about the rotation indicated he had CC, AJ and a bunch of other guys. Never mentioned Joba or Hughes. And regarding Karstens - I believe the Pirates outrighted him to Triple A on November 30. So apparently the pitching rich powerhouse Pirates don't need his services. Maybe the Yankees could trade the batboy for him.

old professor said...

Not too long ago, I asked a question about the Cuban Defector, Chapman. has a three page story on the kid and it appears his value is sliding in the wrong direction. Apparently there are serious questions about his maturity, his velocity (not 100, but 92 at the latest workout)and his secondary pitches. Apparently, he also has a control issue. While he may have struck out 300 plus batters in his last season he averaged 5.4 walks per nine innings. Scouts also say his secondary pitches are not very good. Some have indicated he may not survive beyond AAA. Only time will tell.

He may in all likelihood be looking at an offer of 4 years at about 4 million per year.

Crash said...

Nice update Old Prof on Chapman. Usually with these type guys the hype is so huge and they end up being such a disappointment. Look at Irabu, Igawa, Contreras, and even Matsui. Matsui came over with all this praise of a huge power hitter 50+ HRs, etc. The control issues for Chapman were known. Maturity is understandable if he is as young as they say.

On to MLB FA...the Mariners had a couple big contracts come off the books and they appear ready to spend. They are making a push for Lackey and Harden. You pair those 2 guys with Felix Hernandez and you now have a playoff race in the AL West.

Good signing for the Braves landing Wagner. If they get a big bat, like Matt Holliday, they will give a run in the NL East. In order to afford that big bat though, they likely have to trade Derek Lowe. Could that be a possible fit for the Yankees, they were interested in him last year???

old professor said...

Derek Lowe would be a good fit for the Yankees having pitched in the eastern division before. However, the Yankees have made some statements about wanting to get younger (e.g. Cervelli instead of Molina and Pena instead of Hairston) and Lowe is starting to get up in years. If they are truly looking for a #4 or 5, they should really take a serious look at Sheets and Harden. If the Mariners land Lackey and Harden they will have a great rotation and challenge for the division - they still need a little work on the offensive side of things. (Other than Ichiro, the lineup has little punch and tends to strikeout a lot).

Crash said...

The Braves sign another pitcher, Takashi Saito. He will setup Wagner. Frank Wren and the Braves are not wasting anytime. They have quickly put together a decent back end to that bullpen.

Red Sox are all over Marco Scutaro. He did a workout for them to prove he's recovered from injury. They already asked for his medical records.

Here is a move I don't understand...the Phillies declined a $5MM option on their 3B Pedro Feliz, in a cost cutting move. He hit a big HR in the Series for them and he is a legit Gold Glove caliber player in the field. As a replacement they sign Placido Palanco for 3 years $18MM. He just won 2GG playing 2B for Detroit, he hasn't played 3B since 2005 (and that was only 1 game). He hits for better avg, but has no power, and they're paying him more. I don't get it.

Nothing new on Halladay, Holliday, Lackey, or Bay.

Nothing new on the Yankee front. Which I think is to be expected, since everyone is down in Tampa today and tomorrow for the organizational meetings. I think it's the calm before the storm.

Crash said...

Marco Scutaro has agreed to terms on a deal with the Red Sox. 2 years guaranteed with a mutual option for a third.

The past couple of days I comments saying the Mariners were making a hard push towards a couple big names. Let's add another...the Mariners are the "clear frontrunners" for Chone Figgins according to Fox Sports. They will offer him a 4 year deal in excess of $30MM.

So far you have to be impressed with the aggressiveness of the Braves and Mariners.

Got a chance to watch the Yankees Hot Stove last night. I think it was a general consensus that Wang will not be back next year. Not sure how you can let a guy that won 18 games in NY TWICE just walk away. Also one the guys on there thought Ian Kennedy and not Joba or Hughes will be sent to Toronto in the potential Halladay trade.

Crash said...

Looks like the Mariners may have landed Chone Figgins. They have the parameters of the deal in place but want to wait until the players arbitration deadline passes in case Adrian Beltre decides to accept arbitration.

Jon Heyman is stating that one of the outcomes from the organization meetings is that they will officially pursue a trade for Roy Halladay. No word on what they are willing to give up though. This could very well be a ploy to drive up the price for the Red Sox who couldn't lose another big player to the Yankees.

Crash said...

I've read in a couple places that Cashman's top priority coming out of those meetings was to resign Andy Pettitte. I think that is a great move. Last year things dragged out way too long for him.

old professor said...

The shortstop signing by the Sox indicates that Jed Lowry is not in their future plans (could he be in a package to Toronto for Halladay?).

Figgins going to Seattle is a good signing by the Mariners. It also takes Figgins off the market and out of the Yankees sights.

While Cashman wants to sign Pettitte, there still is not any word regarding Pettitte's interest in playing one more year. The Yankees need to make the necessary moves and plan for the upcoming season as if he were not going to be playing.

If the Yankees include Kennedy in a trade for Halladay, it would be a clear indication how much his stock has risen (great fall league numbers) and how far Joba may have fallen. I still believe the Blue Jays are going to try and ask a very very steep price for Halladay one the Yankees have to seriously wonder if he is worth the cost.

Great pitcher, but the cost in talent and long-term contract costs would be prohibitive. Yankees have also made the decision to reduce payroll to under $201 million. That number would be tough to meet if they sign and bring Halladay on-board.

I still believe they would be better served by looking for a solid #4 and 5 starter (Sheets and/or Marquis). And no Crash I am not insinuating those two would be better than Halladay, what I am saying is the Yankees have a great #1 in CC an erratic #2 in AJ Halladay would be overkill.

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